VAT Refunds

In 1992 the BHA (British Horseracing Authority) then known as BHB, brokered a deal with HMRC (Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs) whereby VAT paid could be claimed back by consumers who own or lease a racehorse. The racing industry passionately treasures this concession and does not look favourably towards anyone who endangers it by circumventing the spirit or letter of the scheme.

BHA statement: "This VAT Scheme is essential to the continuing success of the British Horseracing Industry and the removal of the current system could have devastating effects".

The VAT concession extends to syndicatees but because of the current nature/complexity of the scheme, it is generally, effectively, applicable to 5% shareholdings, or thereabouts.

The VAT concession applies to consumer activity and was not designed to be a vehicle to boost the income of a Syndicator. It is therefore regarded as 'best practice' that every syndicatee who is entitled to a VAT refund under the concession, receives the whole of this sum in the client account, as a stand-alone entry.

Your first question therefore has to be, is the Syndicator VAT registered? As a generalisation only, most Syndicators who have sold or are selling ownership shares in more than one racehorse, are likely to be required by law to be registered for VAT.

Your next questions should be; (1) is my VAT refund entitlement properly explained within the Syndicator's offer and particularly within their full set of terms & conditions? (2) Has the subject been avoided or ambiguously presented?

It is important that you understand the relevant VAT procedure and your entitlement to a refund.